The first ever Shadow Woods Metal Fest made its debut in the woods outside of Baltimore to the partly cloudy sky.
When most people think of metal music festivals, they think of events like the late Mayhem Festival, Summer Slaughter, or Maryland Death Fest (MDF). These are large, well-organized, and heavily sponsored events with national act headliners and attendance in the thousands. Shadow Woods Metal Fest is nothing like that. It is a minimally sponsored, low-budget event held at a summer camp outside of Baltimore, Maryland.
Like Maryland Death Fest, it included bands from a variety of subgenres of metal. Unlike MDF, it included bands that played experimental and mythic folk music. Activities included yoga and a class where participants learned the meaning of runes. Concert-goers could camp if they chose. This event had something for everybody. While the idea of this kind of festival is nothing new, it does have the virtue of being relatively affordable for a weekend out as opposed to MDF.
While the crowd for the event was small, people traveled from as far away as Maine, Texas, the Florida Keys, and Ontario to have a good time and listen to dozens of bands they may not get a chance to see. Some firsts happened at the festival including the blackened thrash band Midnight playing the longest set of their career and the appearance of the black metal band, Wormreich, the first since their accident in April.
The Facebook group for the attendees is abuzz with talk of the bands and thanks for people who made it happen. They share special moments from the festival and call for Shadow Woods Metal Fest 16′. While it may not have drawn thousands as do the large festivals, it was an incredible weekend of music and friendship that will not be forgotten anytime soon.
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